HARRISBURG, Pa. — Congratulations to Jeff Case, our 2022 Jefferson Award finalist!
In a cold, unheated, open-air garage in Harrisburg, Jeff Case tinkers away.
“This is an extra car that they had - it's a little bit rough, but I think it's a solid car. So we're going to go ahead and fix this up.”
A Coast Guard veteran, Jeff Case has always believed that giving back is an important part of life, but he didn’t realize what a massive impact he could have until an unlikely opportunity presented itself.
“The car’s owner was the inspiration for this. This person's a friend of my wife and she at the time was 71-72 years old, working three jobs and she got an estimate for $1,200 to get her car inspected - which she didn't have… So we were able to get the parts for a fraction of that cost…and I don't charge the labor…and I thought, Jesus, probably a lot of other folks that are in that same situation.”
And thus and idea was born.
Jeff started the “Good Karma Garage” to help community members and veterans, who are in of car repairs, completely free of charge.
Case says every person he's helped has been so deserving and inspiring.
“There was a gentleman that moved here from Michigan to be closer to his, his family….He was a homeless vet, just getting back on his feet,” Case said.
“So we were able to get his car working. And then we also got a new car for him…Within two weeks of us doing that, he was able to get a higher paying job. He was able to be a bigger part of his kids lives, taking them to school…that really hit me in my heart because that's what I wanted to do. You know, that's the difference that I wanted to make.”
And make a difference he has - within just 3 months of starting the non-profit, Case said, “We've worked with over 14 customers …we've had more than $4,000 in parts that we've put on their cars, and with the time that we put into their cars, it would have cost them over $6,000 to get it done at a shop.”
Going forward, Case says he hopes he can create a storefront with easier access for clients that are in need of help, and also, maybe a heater for the garage.
All over our area, there are people who are not just doing good, but Multiplying Good.
Every year, we honor them with the Jefferson Awards - a nationwide foundation that celebrates amazing acts of public service. This year is FOX43's first season of being a Jefferson Awards Media Partner.
You can nominate someone for a Jefferson Award by clicking here.